How to unroot Galaxy S4, restore to stock and reset the flash counter

Finally “The Next Big Thing” has been around, and in the U.S. started by AT&T-branded Galaxy S4 which for sale in late April. Although it’s just released, the root has been achieved in a way that was never thought of before, by utilizing Motochopper one-click tool. Once rooted, many Galaxy S4 users who want to customize their devices, such as removing bloatware apps, enable Wi-Fi tethering, change icons, fonts, etc.


Almost all tasks that require root access has the potential to screw up your phone, so if you ever get the problem after executing a mod, then the common solution is to restore the Galaxy S4 to stock using the original shipped firmware. Flash stock firmware also allowed you to unroot your smartphone, in some cases also able to recover from soft-brick.

Simple Unroot Only

These instructions for those of you who have rooted phone, but for folks who have never installed a custom recovery or custom ROMs. The simple explanation is, we make use of the “Full Unroot” feature on SuperSU app, which can get rid of the root app itself and the su binaries files on Galaxy S4. Unfortunately, Motochopper has packed with Superuser by Clockworkmod that don’t have a full unroot option, so we had to replace it with SuperSU by Chainfire, the steps are listed below:

  1. Install the SuperSU app from Google Play Store.
  2. Open SuperSU and grant superuser permissions.
  3. Using Root File Manager or ES File Explorer finds superuser.apk from “/system/app” and delete it. Reboot your device.
  4. galaxy s4 unroot

  5. Now open SuperSU, tap Settings then choose Full Unroot. Your phone will reboot and you will lose root privileges after booting up.
  6. If you are not able to completely unroot with SuperSU, then we recommend you to use the ODIN method below.


Completely restore to stock or unbrick

This guide is for those who have previously rooted but also have a custom recovery (TWRP/CWM) installed or running custom ROMs. To totally restore Samsung Galaxy S4 to stock we can take advantage of ODIN. This instruction is useful when you want to resell or warranty claim purpose.

  1. Just like another Samsung smartphones or tablets, there are additional security that counts how many times you have flash custom/unofficial firmware, and it might void the warranty, but you can still reset the flash counter to 0 by using the Triangle Away app. Get it here (upgrade to pro to support the dev).
  2. galaxy s4 reset flash counter

  3. Install the latest device drivers, by using the most recent Samsung KIES.
  4. Download Galaxy S4 stock firmware, be sure to get the appropriate file for your phone model number (such as SGH-I337 for AT&T-branded device or SGH-i9500 for International models). Typically, a firmware files ending in *.tar.md5 but if you get it in the zip package (*.zip), then you need to extract it first.
  5. Download

  6. Turn off your phone, and then enter into Download mode (volume key down + home button + power button).
  7. s4 download mode

  8. Get Odin3 for Windows PC/laptop, work with the latest version of the Odin.
  9. Download

  10. Double-click “Odin3 v.3.07.exe” and connect your phone to the PC thru USB cable, and see if your phone is detected by Odin (ID: COM).
  11. On the right side of Odin window, hit the PDA button and point the firmware file that you downloaded and saved earlier (Step.3).
  12. galaxy s4 flash odin

    ODIN Flash Tool

  13. Then press the Start button is on the bottom. Wait until the process is complete, when finished your phone will automatically reboot.
  14. Done. Good job, now you have an unrooted Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock firmware.


Filled Under:Unroot and Relock
Related Mods

14 Responses

  1. Nate
    May 2, 2013 at 3:47 AMReply

    Hello. I followed this and successfully flashed back to stock. I also used Triangle away, but in settings/ status it still shows custom. Im not sure what I can do. Thanks

    • Author

      June 26, 2013 at 6:20 PMReply

      Do you mean Device status that found in Settings -> About device ?
      Perform a factory reset, and also try to Check for update via Settings, make sure you’re connected to the internet.

    • bogifrog
      July 8, 2013 at 9:07 AMReply

      Hi there, I have something related to this but not quite the same, as follows:I have rooted my SGS4 I9505 (build JDQ39..I9505XXUAM2) last month along the lines of xda-developers (using I9505XXUAM2-pre-rooted-ODEX-FULL ROM and ODIN 3.04). Also used Triangle Away and in my case Triangle Away reports for Flash Counter Status Counter:0, Binary:Official. However if I go into “Odin” mode (Power on+Home+Volume down) I see a yellow Triangle!
      Also in my case I do not know what to do. Hope someone has an advice.

  2. Sunny
    May 21, 2013 at 6:11 AMReply

    I did the Unroot Only method above but my phone still show it is custom mode in the Settings.

    • Author

      June 26, 2013 at 6:15 PMReply

      The “Device status: Modified” will turn into “Normal” when you running purely stock firmware. Have you try a factory reset?
      If that does not work, you need to flash a shipped firmware via Odin.

  3. Billy
    July 3, 2013 at 4:54 AMReply

    I did the simple unroot, I used triangle away and then did your method but did not search for the superuser.apk file. After I unrooted I wiped my cache and did a factory reset. Everything looks good. I’m able to run updates and device status says official. But I notice theres not a flash counter in download mode……. is there any screenshots of the download mode, about device, and status in the about device option so I can verify?? Tmobile us galaxy s4 sgh-m919

  4. Harry
    October 28, 2013 at 7:43 AMReply

    I followed these instructions and device still says it is modified and it will not check for updates from samsung.
    What is my next step?

    Procedure so far:
    Gained root acces with ODIN
    I did not flash a custom rom.
    Used Triangle away to reset counter (counter checked 0 afterwards)
    Flashed Galaxy stock firmware downloaded from internet ( unpacked this once) with ODIN

  5. wang
    January 23, 2014 at 4:43 PMReply

    I have an few question. I used ur steps to root my att s4 on MF3 couples months ago and i just find out there is a OTA update to 4.3. The OTA would not install to the phone. My questions are: Do i need to unroot my att s4 within superus to get a successful update? ( all i really installed on the phone is Tit. Backup , es file explorer, and app quarantine) and my next question once is successfully update to 4.3. Could its be root again with ur steps? or should i wait couple more month to see?

  6. punkdixie
    April 27, 2014 at 10:02 PMReply

    Was just wondering if I unroot and flash a factory rom back to my phone will it reset everything like fonts and apps that I got rid of ?? Thanks just wanted to make sure I understood….

  7. techd00d
    August 24, 2014 at 12:02 PMReply

    I’ve reflashed my US Cellular Galaxy s4 to stock root. It will *not* activate on the network. It says it’s already activated when walking through the set up pages. Any idea how to help?

  8. Nani
    September 26, 2014 at 2:33 AMReply

    No custom OS

    I replaced some system apps with equivalent S5 apps.

    Phone kept throwing unfortunately process closed dialogues.

    I did a factory reset.
    Even though the problem continued.

    When i spoke with care, they told warrenty is void looking into download mode 🙁

    But they told they shall update my phone os fr money, but my warranty is gone.

    What could i do to reset device status, system status and knox warranty.

    I messed up, otherwise i still wud have gt 8 months of warranty.

    Plese help :'(

  9. Farhan
    February 23, 2015 at 12:43 AMReply

    how to test whether my phone (Galaxy S4 -GT-I9515) has custom recovery (TWRP/CWM) installed or running custom ROMs.

  10. Chamikara
    September 13, 2015 at 11:02 PMReply

    Hello i have samsung galaxy s4 gt i9515 device.i did not root it.but it shows device satus custom.why is that happen?and would anyone tell me how to make it back to normal.thanks

  11. nithin
    November 10, 2015 at 8:00 AMReply

    Triangle away does not support Galaxy S4(i9500)

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